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HYBE Signs Distribution Deal With Tencent Music

The agreement allows music by HYBE artists like BTS and TOMORROW X TOGETHER to stream on Tencent platforms.

South Korea-based music and entertainment company HYBE signed a music distribution deal with Tencent Music Entertainment this week, according to media reports.

Reuters, citing an article by the Seoul Economic Daily, reported Tuesday (May 23) that the agreement allows music by BTS, TOMORROW X TOGETHER and other HYBE artists to be streamed on Tencent Music’s platforms.


Shenzhen-based Tencent Music operates QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and the karaoke singing app WeSing.

HYBE and Tencent Music did not respond to requests for comment.

HYBE has been expanding its U.S. presence since its 2021 acquisition of Scooter Braun‘s Ithaca Holdings. Following HYBE’s acquisition of QC Media Holdings — parent company of hip-hop label Quality Control — earlier this year, founder and chairman Bang Si-hyuk said this was “just the beginning” of its global ambitions, and expressed a “sense of urgency” for the company to look outside of South Korea for future growth opportunities.

“We are living in an era where everything we do in the content industry resonates beyond geographical boundaries,” Bang said. “At the same time, K-pop has become a global industry that can only continue to grow by targeting both domestic and international markets.”

China’s leading music streaming platform, Tencent Music reported earnings last week that beat market expectations, with quarterly revenue up 5.4% to RMB 7 billion ($1.02 billion) thanks to an 18% jump in paying music subscribers.

Tencent has been gaining streaming market share in China through partnerships like the deal with HYBE as well as with live events and artist promotion with companies like JD.com.

In 2019, Tencent Music struck a similar deal with rival K-pop agency SM Entertainment. Earlier this year, HYBE backed out of a bidding war with Korean tech company Kakao for control of SM, electing to sell its 15% stake to Kakao for 564 billion won ($435 million).